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(CNN) —  

Senator Bernie Sanders said he doesn’t believe the official response from Israeli authorities, who say that deadly clashes in Gaza this past week were “violent terror demonstrations,” and that Hamas fighters were embedded within a crowd of protestors.

“From what my understanding is, you have tens and tens of thousands of people who are engaged in a nonviolent protest. I believe now 15 or 20 people, Palestinians, have been killed and many, many others have been wounded. So I think it’s a difficult situation, but my assessment is that Israel overreacted on that,” the Vermont Independent told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

The clashes on Friday resulted in at least 17 Palestinians being killed and more than 1,400 injured in confrontations with Israeli security forces.

Sanders responded to the news, tweeting that “the killing of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli forces in Gaza is tragic. It is the right of all people to protest for a better future without a violent response.”

He added: “Meanwhile, the situation in Gaza remains a humanitarian disaster. The US must play a more positive role in ending the Gaza blockade and helping Palestinians and Israelis build a future that works for all.”

In his comments Sunday on CNN, Sanders emphasized the need for more involvement in the region on the part of the US.

“The bottom line here is that the United States of America has got to be involved in dealing with the terrible tragedy in Gaza,” he said, adding, that “Gaza is a disaster right now.”